Where is the intersection of science and the arts? I believe if you asked me this question when I was in 5th grade I would have said “none”. I would have said that you are either a math/science person or an arts/humanity and I am the latter so please leave me alone. (5th grade was a very sassy time for me). However, it has come to my attention through my college education that there is a need for more conversations surrounding the cross-section between science studies and the arts.
In a recent article written on HowlRound by Lina Bulgarian- Duque, she discusses the disconnect that the arts and sciences have faced in the past and what grade schools are doing to help alleviate this. She notes a theater company in Pittsburg called Attack Theater that is using science and theater to help teach fifth grader their curriculum. She concludes that “When science is presented through theatre, students aren’t as afraid of getting things wrong and feel free to shout out, or even dance, answers. By integrating the safe and friendly space that is the theatre with the scary science world, we can help make bounds and leaps in trying to diversify the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, helping the general public stay educated and up to date on science research.”
She then goes on to speak about the ways in which higher level educational institutions can create this bridge. She suggests a method of “working local, being collaborative and being forgiving.” Though I can understand through her analysis how this could work, I personally see a need for systematic change within universities so that students are able to take classes in all fields as a part of the general education requirement
The Boston University the School of Theater has a requirement for all freshman to take a basic level writing class and then after that students are not necessarily obligated to take classes outside of the CFA unless they are pursuing an academic minor or want to take liberal arts classes to fill their general education requirement. Even if students want to go the Gen-Ed route there is no math or science requirement.
I believe it is imperative that general education is all inclusive and require students to explore classes outside of their major that can help illuminate their own studies. There is plenty of proof that students who are multi versed are more sought out after college. The change must come from the Universities who are excited about collaboration. For example, classes must be offered that are taught by a drama and physics professors. Learning is not black or white and I believe that through these conversations we can help illuminate the need for cross disciplinary education at all levels.
[…] This post is inspired by the intelligent and 5th-grade-sassy Shawna James’ recent blog post, Science and the Arts: A Love Story. […]